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Digital Archive International History Declassified

North Korean Smuggling

In the fall of 1976, North Korean diplomats were expelled from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden for smuggling alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

  • July 30, 1976

    Note from the Embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Helsinki, to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Finland

    A DPRK Embassy note on the departure of North Korean diplomats from Helsinki.

  • October 05, 1976

    Telegram from Directorate for Customs, Control Office, to Hanna Boye, Foreign Ministry

    A cover letter for a note to Hanna Boye.

  • October 15, 1976

    Telegram from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Danish Diplomatic Missions Abroad

    A notice of sending the press release.

  • October 15, 1976

    Press Release from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The press release from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that required the DPRK to initiate the return of its diplomatic representatives involved in the smuggling activities.

  • October 16, 1976

    Telegram to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing

    A notice of the meeting with the North Korean Ambassador.

  • October 16, 1976

    Telegram to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Royal Danish Embassy in Moscow

    Information about visa application of the North Korean diplomats.

  • October 16, 1976

    Cable, US Embassy Copenhagen to the Secretary of State, 'Continued Press Attention to North Korean "Hash" Diplomats"'

    This cable discusses Danish press coverage of the North Korean diplomats who were expelled from the four Scandinavian countries for trafficking in cigarettes, liquor and drugs. It also reports on press coverage of the diplomats sent to Denmark to replace those who were expelled.

  • October 18, 1976

    Press Release of the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Announcement that all North Korean Embassy personnel in Oslo have been asked to leave the country following reports of smuggling through the embassy.

  • October 18, 1976

    Telegram to the Embassy in Pyongyang, 'Deportation North Korean Diplomats'

    Two press releases on the discovery of smuggling activities by personnel at the North Korean Embassy in Oslo.

  • October 18, 1976

    Telegram to Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Royal Danish Embassy in the GDR

  • October 18, 1976

    Note, Embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Stockholm, to the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The North Korean Embassy in Sweden reports that two embassy staff members have departed from Stockholm.

  • October 18, 1976

    Answer to Question from the Press

    The head of the Protocol Department remarks that the North Korean embassy's purchases of alcohol and cigarette are way below the statistical average in comparison to other embassy's in Stockholm.

  • October 18, 1976

    Letter from Norwegian Police Security Service to Foreign Ministry, 'The North Korean Embassy - Illegal Import and Distribution of Spirits, Cigarettes, etc.'

    Surveillance of the North Korean Embassy in Oslo discovered it was the source of illegal import and distribution of spirits and cigarettes, and the illegal activities were directed by the North Korean Foreign Ministry.

  • October 18, 1976

    Cable, Cabinet to the Swedish Embassy, Pyongyang, via the Protocol Department

    Report to the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang with information about the police investigation revolving the North Korean embassy in Stockholm and asking embassy personnel to make an assessment about their own security.

  • October 18, 1976

    Cable, Cabinet to the Swedish Embassy, Pyongyang, and Swedish Embassy, Peking, via the Political Department

    The Cabinet informs the Swedish embassies in Pyongyang and Beijing about the police investigation revolving the North Korean embassy in Stockholm. It asks personnel in Pyongyang to make an assessment about their own security in light of the scandal.

  • October 19, 1976

    Letter from Willum Steen, Police Security Service, to Sverre Gjellum, Minister of Foreign Affairs, 'North Korean Embassy - Illegal Import and Distribution of Spirits, Cigarettes, etc.'

    Cover letter with notes submitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

  • October 19, 1976

    Notes to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 'Smuggling - North Korea's Embassy'

    Chargé d’affaires of the North Korean Embassy in Oslo is informed that all embassy personnel (including the ambassador) must leave the country following the discovery of wide-scale smuggling activities.

  • October 19, 1976

    Cable, Cornell, Swedish Embasy, Pyongyang, to the Cabinet, Stockholm

    Erik Cornell requests that the family members of Swedish diplomats in Pyongyang be allowed to leave the country in light of the possible expulsion of North Korean diplomats from Sweden.

  • October 19, 1976

    Cable, Cornell, Swedish Embassy, Pyongyang, to the Cabinet, Stockholm

    Swedish Charge D'Affairs Erik Cornell requests that the Swedish foreign ministry postpone a measure until after evacuation.

  • October 19, 1976

    Cable, Cabinet to the Swedish Embassies in Oslo and Copenhagen, via the Political Department

    The Swedish Cabinet requests reports on North Korean reactions to revelations of smuggling by North Korean diplomats in the Scandinavian capitals.